The technology spotter

July 23rd, 2010 in .Blogs
Mrs Mario
Clip to Evernote

We’ve all heard of (and occasionally seen) trainspotters. I’m kind of shaky on the actual art of trainspotting, the details are vague, but today I realised that it is entirely possible I am a member of a potential sister group – the technology spotter. 

The revelation came this morning when I discovered that my commute had developed a routine. Run to platform (am always late), grab paper, leap onto train, sit back, eyeball the technology people whip out of their pockets for the journey, and compare it to my own. 

This morning there were two Eee PCs better than mine, two iPhones, an unidentifiable smartphone due to the owner’s large hands, a PSP, and a shining beauty of a laptop that flirted with me from behind a chair. For the first two stations I surreptitiously, well, hopefully I was surreptitious, watched the Eee PC men sitting opposite me. 

I wanted to see how well they got on with the revamped keyboard and, thanks to the angle of the sun, whether they were having issues viewing the screen while they worked. Neither of them appeared to be getting frustrated with their netbooks, although I think the man in the grey suit was a bit worried about me as he kept playing with his wedding ring and casting anxious glances my way. 

Sorry, chap, but it isn’t you I’m spotting. 

As the train got closer to London, the technology that came on board got more interesting. And the uses more varied. One woman, clearly very organised, whipped out her netbook (I think it was the 1018 Seashell as I recognised the design but wasn’t close enough to check), stuck her headphones in and started watching something. Now that’s catch-up TV on demand. 

Another lady was secretly using the screen of her phone to check her make-up, which I thought was brilliant until I tried to do it and just looked like I needed therapy. Apparently there is a knack with light and angles that I need to practise alone at home, or my phone just isn’t up to the task. 

An extremely scruffy and furtive human sidled onboard at Clapham Junction. He captured my attention immediately. Could he be a famous writer? He had that look about him. And his technology seemed to support my theory. Out came a netbook, a collapsible keyboard, a mouse, a 3G dongle, all set up and ready to go in minutes. And he didn’t use any of it. He just stared into space for the rest of the journey. I know that feeling all too well. Not that I’m a famous writer, obviously. 

On the flip side, however, I am always surprised by how few people have tech for the train. On average only 15-20 percent of people have headphones on, PCs on the tables, phones in their hands. The rest are reading books (so much for book publishers saying there’s a downturn) or the paper, or sleeping. 

Which has me wondering, is this because many of these people use the train as a break from technology (why would you need a break?), or do they just not know about the huge range of options out there? Thanks to the teeny tiny lightness of netbook being, carrying tech around with you on the commute is hardly a chore. It may even help with the daily exercise routine. 

Whatever the answer, I really wish everyone would hurry up and get more, if I spot yet another boring iPhone drone I may be forced to throw it out the window.

Related Articles

Share |